Do you have any experience as a trustee?
Yes, I was a trustee for a Village Hall for 5 years and I was also a school governor of a special school for 2.5 years.
What made you become a trustee?
When I was involved in the Village Hall I was running a youth club that occupied the building. All organisations were offered to get involved in the management of the building and I was keen to help to ensure the success of the charity. I became school governor as a parent and I cared strongly about the school, but I also wanted to build my own skills on a more strategic level whilst ensuring the voice of children and parents were being heard.
What do you think you took from the roles?
I really did learn a lot in both roles. I was able to appreciate the complexities of decision making and learning about various legal aspects. I challenged decisions as well and certainly built my confidence in a board room. In both roles I felt that what I represented as a person was important. My background was often different, I was much younger than many others in the room and had a different socio-economic status. I felt my voice mattered.
What would you say to someone interested in becoming a trustee?
Have a look at the different roles that are available and do some research. Have a think about what causes you are passionate about and if there are certain charities you value contact them to ask if they have vacancies. Consider your own availability, and what capacity the charity needs you to have. Some may have monthly meetings others may be less regular, some roles require a lot of reading, and others don’t. Phone up for informal conversations and ask all the questions. If it feels right then go for it and have fun.
Volunteer Development Officer, OCVA